November 03, 2006

How to De-Seed a Pomegranate




First, cut the pomegranate in half and lightly score-without piercing-the rest of the skin, in about two places on each half. This will make it easier to turn the skin inside out as you pick out the seeds. Fill a bowl with cool water. I like to use my largest mixing bowl so I have room to work without splashing. Place the pomegranate in the water.


The pomegranate halves will float so you have to to hold them under water while you work.


Carefully pick out each pip (aril) with your fingers while holding the fruit underwater, carefully breaking the white membrane apart as you go. I try to use only my fingertips and not my nails at all, so I don't puncture the pips and release any juice. You also might find that turning the skin inside out (carefully!) will release a lot the seeds without having to pick. Work slowly.

Drain the pips and remove any membrane still attached. You are now ready to enjoy your pomegranate! You can eat them as is (seed and all) or use them in a recipe.


My thoughts:
I love love love pomegranates. They are my favorite fruit by far and even if they are pricey, I like to get them at least once each year. The only drawback to the pomegranate is how messy it can be to get the pips (arils is the technical name) out of the skin. The juice will stain* clothing, cutting boards, tables, anything porous. I used to make such a mess that when I was in high school my mom banned me from peeling them in the house. That was before I figured out the underwater technique. There are many variations on this, some calling for you to remove the crown first, others call for you to quarter or even eighth the fruit, but I find this way to be the most efficient. Plus, the less you cut the fruit, the more whole pips you will end up with. Once you puncture the pip, the wonderful juice drains out, and you don't want that!

I always buy the Pom Wonderful brand pomegranates (even though I think searching out branded fruit is a little odd) because they are always large and juicy. You want a large, heavy pomegranate with an unblemished skin. Pomegranate pips or arils can be frozen for up to a year, and the whole fruit will keep in your refrigerator for a couple of months. Pomegranates are full of antioxidants, and each one has exactly 840 seeds.

*it also turns bright blue when rubbed with Ivory soap, oddly enough.

20 comments:

  1. 840 seeds? Really? That is so cool and weird.

    Thanks for the tip about the water - I have always been too chicken to attempt pomegranate at home.

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  2. I love POM, I'm so glad they came out with it.

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  3. I admire your tenacity! I don't think I have the patience...On the other hand, I'm off to buy a pomegranate so I can count the seeds! :) Fascinating bit of info.

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  4. Very cool to know! Thanks for this tip!

    Paz

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  5. I'm going to have to try this underwater technique. It would sure make life easier!

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  6. I love pomegranates. While everyone else is counting seeds, I'm going to try the turning blue thing. ;-)

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  7. I like pomegranates but I haven't had one in years!

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  8. That is a great tip thanks. My 3 year old daughter love Pomegranates. This will be a much quicker way for her to eat them. Thanks

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  9. Someone once told me that every pomegranate had 613 seeds. A quick Google search shows a fair few references to that. Anyway, I'm not the type to buy that sort of thing so I checked it out with a couple of pomegranates. I got just over 400 each time!

    I do recommend checking because I'm pretty sure it's not true!

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  10. My mom taught me the same way. De-seeding Pomegranate the way you have demonstrated is one of the oldest method. I am only aware of this method.

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  11. This is brilliant. Thanks for the technique.
    I also noticed that the white membrane floats, so there's very little separating to do before straining the water out.

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  12. kantilal kallaiwallaSeptember 25, 2007 2:08 PM

    the simplest best way of de-seeding pomegranate i am sure majority of pomegrante users do not know this tecknique(i am one of them) and for behalf of all those(who are in majority) I thank you very much for showing the method.

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  13. We moved into a house with two established pomegranate trees. I just picked 12 or so bursting open pomegranate's from my tree and found your site to explain how to de-seed them.
    Great information. Thank-you!

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  14. What if your husband won't eat the seeds within the arils? Is there a good way to get them out?

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  15. Anon: You'd have to juice it. There really is no way to get the seeds out without flattening (and juicing in the process) the arils.

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  16. ty for writing this i was wondering if there was a cleaner way to do that i got pomegranate juice all over my kitchen wall earlier : P

    on the amount of seeds, it is said they have 613, in different parts of the world it varies, in the holy land this is most frequently true, and in the entire world the average is 613. learning and teaching, what else is there?

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  17. Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol for righteousness, because it is said to have 613 seeds which corresponds with the 613 mitzvot or commandments of the Torah. However, the actual number of seeds varies with individual fruits; there is no set number of seeds, and it all depends on the variety and size of the individual fruit.

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  18. I just watched a video of someone tapping a halved pomagranate with a spoon to get the arils out- it looked remarkably easy! Here it is: http://www.ehow.com/video_2335602_preparing-pomegranate-cranberry-sauce.html

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  19. I just counted...mine only has 839 seeds!

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  20. I just counted...mine only has 839 seeds!!

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